By Roger Erpelding
The spring rush has just begun. On April 14, I settled down to order some additional plants from Dutch Gardens, one of my favorite mail order houses. I wanted some calla lilies and I was not disappointed in the selection. I ordered a mixed bag and a dark purple calla. These lilies are easy to grow and have a unique flower form. I will place one bulb each in a two gallon pot.
April 18 was as close to a perfect day as it gets. I took off work early and the afternoon found me working in the garden. I called to have the garden tilled, but didn’t call in time–it’ll have to wait. So, I took this occasion to fill up more pots for future vegetables and flowers. I now have 24 pots full of a mixed soil of wood chips, soil brought in from old pots, and our neighbor’s work projects. Beth was also busy filling pots.
The following day, Saturday, was just as nice. A friend stopped by with his truck and we went to Earl May to pick up 26 bags of potting soil. Earl May is a great store with excellent customer service. I call it very “blind guy friendly.” It didn’t take us long to unload the bags before we dumped 12 bags into each or the two new raised beds. Our son Rob and I had carried the new beds to their locations earlier in the month. While we were at Earl May he put the liners in the beds so the dumping could begin in earnest. Also while we were gone, he leveled off an area for my five large clay pots and placed them there. After lunch, we carried bags of potting soil to fill the pots after I placed ballast (broken shards of old clay pots) in the bottom of each one. At this point, all five pots and the two new beds are ready for planting. I am having a tough time deciding what will go into my new beds and pots. I am full of ideas, so there will have to be a decision made!
I pay to have the garden tilled. On Tuesday, my man Steve showed up to do the job. I like to wait until at least one day has passed before planting so the soil has a chance to form a dry crust on top. The soil looks mellow and ready to roll. We had a half inch of rain Wednesday-Thursday, so no planting has been done yet. My sticks await along the garden edge, my string is in a bucket, and my seeds are labeled and sorted.
The last entry into this session involves another visit to Earl May. I wanted to purchase some seed potatoes. Norland is my preference. They were in stock and are currently resting in the garage, awaiting their planting. Rob installed a new connecting fence last Saturday as well. We’ll see how it does with the cucumber seeds I purchased at the store. Twenty-five plant markers also went in to the shopping basket. I prefer the 10 inch wooden variety. They give me plenty of room for Dymo tape Braille labels. Four bags of potting soil were also purchased. Finally, I needed some brassica plants, so eight kohlrabis and four early cabbages (Copenhagen Market) went into the basket, too.
This is going to be a busy weekend. Priority will go into planting seeds in the garden. Beth also informed me that two boxes of perennials have arrived from Bluestone. Add some Master Gardener activities to the schedule for this weekend as well. It is the time, and it is the season!